Report: Celtics to sign Milicic to one-year deal
MINNEAPOLIS – The last time a Timberwolves big man was bound for Boston, it caused a negative uproar. This time, it’s something closer to good riddance.
Darko Milicic is no Kevin Garnett, and Minnesota was happy to let him go in July. Now, according to a report from CSNNE.com, the Celtics will sign the former Timberwolf next week to a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum. For Milicic, who has nine years of NBA experience, that deal will be worth $1.23 million per the terms of the current CBA.
Milicic was the second overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. The Pistons selected him in lieu of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, who all remained available at the time. Only LeBron James was selected before Milicic.
Since then, the Serbian-born center has played for five teams, with Boston poised to be his sixth. For his career, he’s averaged 6.0 points, but last season in Minnesota he played just 29 games, averaging 4.6 points while often sidelined with injuries myriad and vague. The team applied its amnesty provision to him July 12, preventing the $7 million guaranteed portion of his contract from counting against its salary cap.
No team claimed Milicic off waivers after he was amnestied, and he’s been searching for a place to play for the past two months. His deal with the Celtics will earn him a spot on their training camp roster, but little beyond that is certain. Boston enters camp, which will begin Sept. 29, with 14 guaranteed contracts, and with the relatively minimal amount they’ve offered Milicic, cutting him would not be a massive financial strain. So yes, Milicic has a contract, but he still has a lot to prove.
With the Celtics, Milicic will have to compete with Fab Melo, Jared Sullinger, Chris Wilcox and Jason Collins for the backup center role behind Garnett.
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